A RYEDALE delicatessen has been named as Britain's best small shop.

Hunters of Helmsley, based in the Market Place, was shortlisted as a finalist in the Best Small Shops Competition 2015, after being chosen by an independent panel of judges from hundreds of entries.

The deli, which this year celebrates its 25th anniversary, was named as the overall winner at a reception held at the House of Commons, in London, yesterday (Wednesday).

Runners up were the Mainstreet Trading Company, a bookshop and cafe in the Scottish Borders and Nisa Local, Toddlington, a convenience store in Bedfordshire.

Chris and Christine Garnett, who have owned Hunters of Helmsley since 2008, were presented with the award by MP Simon Danczuk, chairman of the All Party Small Shops Group, which organised the competition.

He said: "Hunters of Helmsley was chosen by the judges for its local sourcing of produce, organisation of events to support their high street and their use of social media to engage customers."

The deli impressed the judges with its commitment to supporting local producers and suppliers, an innovative approach to partnerships and social media and the key role the retailer played in setting up the Helmsley in Business group, which now has 50 members working together to promote the town for the benefit of all local businesses.

Christine said: “We were delighted to make the final 20, so to be announced overall winner was just unbelievable – I don’t think either of us quite took it in when they said it was us.

" All of the finalists were inspirational, it was great having the opportunity to meet them, and they should be very proud of their businesses.

" We just love what we do – we work very hard, but finding and sharing the best food and drink is our passion, and so we’re very lucky.

"We have an excellent team working with us, and we just want to thank them for everything they do, along with thanking the wider Helmsley community. It’s a great place to be based, and the business network is so supportive of each other. As far as we’re concerned we’re a town full of Britain’s Best Small Shops.”